Thursday, 11 August 2011

Hong Kong Singapore Royal Artillery (1)

HKSRA Gunner - Note the brass shoulder titles - HK-SRA on a red felt backing

Hong Kong – Singapore Royal Artillery HKSRA (1842 – 1924)

1842 May - A Royal Artillery Company based in Hong Kong for the first time:

- Suggested native auxiliaries to spare British Gunners to move guns & ammo

- Plan to use Malay Soldiers serving in the British colonial units. They declined to be coolie laborers.

1847 - 90 Madras were recruited as Gun Lascars (laborers for artillery)

1848 – Royal Warrant approved employment of Lascars by resident Royal Artillery Garrisons as laborers and guards

1865 – Men from Asiatic Nations recruited as lascars to form A Company, China Gun Lascars.

1881 - War Office Directive approved 2nd Lascar Company for Hong Kong - B Company comprising of Sikhs.

1891 – 2 double companies of lascars formed i.e. 1 company of Sikh and 1 company of Punjabi Muslims (hence men from other races weeded out). Formation was renamed Hong Kong Asiatic artillery. Formation of local artillery company with Indian troops in Singapore.

1893 – Hong Kong Unit became Hong Kong Company, Royal Artillery and Singapore Unit became Singapore Company, Royal Artillery.

1898 – The Hong Kong & Singapore companies were grouped as Hong Kong –Singapore Battalion

1899 – The battalion was renamed, Hong Kong Singapore Battalion, Royal Garrison Artillery (HKSRGA). The HKSRGA has 3 companies based in Hong Kong, 1 company in Singapore and 1 company in Mauritius. The 5 companies rotated around the 3 bases, for coastal defense duties.

1915 – HKSRGA company based in Singapore helped suppress revolt by 5th Light Indian Infantry. No. 1 company with 210 officers and men and 6x10 pdr guns mountain battery embark to Egypt to serve with the Imperial Service Calvary Brigade.

1916 – the battery was stationed in Abassia attached to Imperial Camel Corps – with guns transported by camels instead of mules. Saw service in Palestine in battles of Maghdada & Rafa.

1917 – Re-equipped with 2.75 inch guns instead of 10 pdrs. Took part in battles for Gaza, the capture of Jerusalem and the attacks on Ammaw, Es Salt, Abu Tehnib & Megiddo.

1924 – Final organizational change – HKSRGA renamed as Hong Kong – Singapore Royal Artillery (HKSRA)

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